Maintenance and cleaning

Best Practices for Group Child Care Settings

Keep a written record that explains:

  • The type of cleaning and the method and chemicals used to perform it
  • The cleaning schedule
  • The person responsible for performing the cleaning
  • Also keep a written maintenance schedule for things that require regular maintenance.

Cleaning Schedule Guidelines

  • Clean the child care area in a way that avoids getting soil, germs, and toxic cleaners on food and food-contact surfaces.
  • Keep soiled linens or aprons in laundry bags or other suitable containers.
  • Wash all windows inside and outside at least twice a year.
  • Don’t use deodorizers to cover up bad smells caused by unsanitary conditions or poor housekeeping. Ventilate and clean bad smells away.
  • Keep storage areas, attics, and cellars free from refuse, furniture, old newspapers, and other paper goods.
  • Keep flammable cleaning rags or solutions in closed metal containers in locked cabinets.
  • Wash surfaces with detergent and water until you cannot see any soil. Then rinse with water.
  • Sanitize using the standard household bleach solution:
    • Use a bleach solution consisting of 65 milliliters of bleach to 4 liters of water (1 tablespoon bleach per quart of water) to sanitize clean and rinsed surfaces.
    • Dispense the solution, made up fresh daily, from a spray bottle, and leave the solution in contact with surfaces for at least 2 minutes.
    • Dry with a paper towel or allow to air dry.

You can use hospital-grade sanitizers or disinfectants instead of the bleach water solution, but be sure to find out how toxic these solutions are and how to safely use them. Many disinfectants and sanitizers other than bleach must be rinsed off before the surface can be used. Surfaces treated with bleach and allowed to dry have no bleach on them, since the chlorine evaporates into the air.

Special Cleaning Circumstances

Clean and sanitize more often whenever there are outbreaks of illness, there is known contamination, or when recommended by the local health department to control certain infectious diseases.